The Legacy of Marion Lee: Notable Horsewoman Retires from American National Riding Commission

Marion on "Trademark" featured in Jane Marshall Dillon's book Form Over Fences: A Pictorial Critique of Jumping for Junior Riders

Beginning June, 2021, Marion Lee retired as the Executive Secretary/Treasurer for the American National Riding Commission (ANRC). While Marion will continue to serve the ANRC as an emeritus member, the organization celebrates her loyalty and commitment to the advancement of forward riding.

“Marion’s has been a solid presence for many of us who have had leadership roles with the ANRC over many years. I feel quite sure that our ability to remain intact as an organization has been because of her work and support”

Jill Randles, currently serving as ANRC Board Director-at-Large
Marion Lee

Established in 2006, ANRC fosters the mission of the former Affiliated National Riding Commission, which existed as part of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) for more than 60 years. ANRC’s educational system is based on the teachings of Captain Vladimir Littauer, who came to the United States in the thirties and established a riding school and is author of the book Commonsense Horsemanship. His progressive forward riding system influenced many professional riders and trainers, including Jane Dillon, Joe Fargis, Lendon Gray, Pam Baker, and Bernie Traurig.

Marion had the privilege of riding with Captain Vladimir Littauer when she attended Mary Washington College as an English major. The riding program, under the direction of Russ Walther Sr., often invited Captain Littauer for clinics. This was Marion’s first introduction to Littauer’s forward riding system.

After graduating in 1952, Marion pursued her interest in horses. She had an offer to work at St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson, Maryland, but decided instead to work for Janet H. Carter, Master of Foxhounds for the Groton Hunt in Massachusetts. Janet Carter was the author of The Complete Test for Hunters, published in 1959 and was also mentioned in one of Littauer’s books.

Mostly schooling young horses and exercising hunters to keep them fit, Marion enjoyed her time with the hunt club until she received an invitation from Jane Marshall Dillon inviting her to teach at Full Cry Farm in Vienna, Virginia. Marion did not hesitate to embrace a new riding and teaching career with someone so notable. She remained one of the resident instructors for over eight years and was honored to be a featured rider in Jane Marshall Dillon’s book, Form Over Fences: A Pictorial Critique of Jumping for Junior Riders.

In 1965, she was asked to become the head instructor, but as Marion said, “I didn’t want to stay tied down and felt ready to move on.” Marion took a computer course and landed a job in the computer industry, working for Sperry Univac and later Planning Research Corporation. While working, she had the opportunity to travel and enjoyed skiing and playing tennis. Marion continued to serve on the ANRC board in various roles over many years. She judged three ANRC National Equitation Championships: in 1978 with Melanie Smith, 1982 with Michael Page, and in 1985 with Edna Lytle.

To learn more about Marion Lee, click here.